The upcoming Quake Champions will be free-to-play. Or not. It depends on how you want to approach it. “At its core, it’s a free-to-play game with the option to buy the Champion Pack and just get in and play with all the Champions,” developer Bethesda Softworks’ creative director Tim Willits recently told Polygon. The Champion Pack is basically the full-priced version of the game, giving access to everything you’d expect from a retail title right out of the gate. But, if games like League of Legends and Dota 2 have taught us anything, it’s that dropping $60 up-front is a huge barrier to entry for people around the world.
That’s why Quake Champions will offer a way to play the game without spending money. Using earned, in-game currency called “favor,” you can play with other characters for a limited time period.
“I don’t want to use the word ‘rent,'” Willits told the publication. “You do spend favor to have access to them for a limited amount of time, yes. But you don’t spend any real money on it.”
Polygon says that favor will be easy enough to earn and that you can spend it on things besides access to other characters too, like new skins for said characters.
Given the popularity of LoL, Counter-Strike and Team Fortress 2 simply by way of their accessibility, this seems like it could be the best way to go about structuring the new Quake‘s business model. That’s especially true when you consider that the aforementioned games are incredibly popular in places like eastern Europe and South Korea, where gaming cafes are bountiful. Bethesda made its eSports aspirations for the game explicit when it debuted last year; this helps prove that it wasn’t just hollow talk.